Bill addresses standards for water contaminants

MADISON, Wis (WTMV) - The Wisconsin State Assembly Committee on Environment held a public hearing regarding a bill addressing water quality standards on Thursday.

The bill
would require the Dept. of Health Services to establish a state health-based groundwater quality standards for perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate, which are commonly known as PFOAs and PFOS.

Representatives from the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources and DHS gave testimony at the hearing.

The legislation would give DHS 90 days after the bill’s passage to establish standards. This comes after the department missed a previous deadline to submit recommendations.

Democratic Rep. Gary Hebl of Sun Prairie sits on the committee and said staffing is an issue at DHS, which could be a reason why they missed deadlines.

“It’s an attempt to put a deadline as to when the work is completed for these contaminants to be evaluated and determine what a safe level is on our water,” Hebl said.

The author of the bill, Republican Rep. John Nygren of Marinette, sent out a statement regarding his testimony that said in part:

“As we begin to see a wider impact of PFOA and PFOS in our drinking water and discuss ways to eventually resolve this problem, it is important to have guidance on what levels of these chemicals are safe for human consumption,” he said.